If you’re a business owner doing social media or a freelance social media manager, you’re probably overwhelmed with advice…

‘Do these 500 things to tackle the new algorithm.’ 

Unmissable insights from 100+ influencers.’ 

An A-Z of the latest social hacks.’

Phew!  It’s so easy to sweat the small stuff and if you work by yourself, it’s very easy to lose confidence.  After all, writing engaging posts is a tough call.

But, I’ve found an amazing way to boost engagement.  The big message her is to switch up your headset.  If you frame your thinking in a positive light, it’ll do wonders for your channels.  So have a go with these 5 simple steps to ‘soup-up’ your social media:

1. DO get out

Funny enough, social media works better if you feeling social.  If you work from home or a small office, your free-flowing patter may begin to sound stilted.  A more stimulating environment will have a huge effect on your language.  White noise works wonders – so take yourself to a café, bar, leisure centre.

Go anywhere which has some background buzz.

But there’s another big benefit – being out will make you sound more interesting.  Geek Chic does not extend to Norman No Mates.  Posting activity of what you or your organisation is up to will make your feed way more social.

2. DO use enthusiastic language.

Faint heart never won fair lady, and bland language never won engagement.  Here’s the thing, if you really like something, shout it from the rooftops.  Check your engagement using analytics and work out what language really spurs your target audience.  Did you get off the fence and say you actually loved something?  Did you nail your colours to the mast to make a recommendation?

I bet your most successful posts used strong, positive language.

But – and this is crucial – only share content that you feel strongly about.  In the competition to win engagement, fake enthusiasm is a turn off.

3. DO re-read scheduled posts.

Go back and read your draft posts a day later.  It’s like you’re seeing them for the first time on a social network.  If you use a scheduling tool – like Hootsuite or Buffer – you have the luxury of reviewing what you’ve written.

Fresh eyes will spot dull copy.  What works –

and what doesn’t – will jump out at you.

Are your tweets in Pidgen English?  Are there typos?  And did you make a smutty innuendo where you didn’t intend?  A quick edit to polish your wording is such an easy fix.

4. DO have fun.

We often struggle so hard to get inside our audience’s heads, we forget to have fun.  Here’s a tip – if your post has YOU engaged, odds are it’ll appeal to others.  So, try creating some posts which amuse or entertain you, whether it be cool artwork or a funny story.

The big message here is to find a medium which suits you, then let your hair down.

  • Try shooting a video clip that makes you giggle.
  • Did you sketch as a child?  Stock up on chalks or colouring pens and with a little imagination, create some visual messaging.
  • Have a play with your phone and experiment with stop animation (sounds hard, it’s not).

5. DO read your social feeds

Have you ever heard Stephen King’s advice to aspiring writers?  Read A Lot.

Exactly the same applies to doing social media.  Read what others are talking about.  I mean really pay attention – and not just do quickfire engagement.

If you want your posts to resonate, listen to the conversation.

You’ll be amazed at how much inspiration you can get from properly immersing yourself in your feeds.  Take a notebook and jot down ideas for posts that spring out of 20 minutes of really listening.  I promise there will be quite a few!


About the author: In a previous career, Paula Gilbert was a broadcast journalist and it was easy to get an audience engaged when you have, say, JK Rowling’s first TV interview and a 10 million plus audience.

Paula has since trained as a professional social media manager, works from home and helps clients with content marketing. Find her at The Garden Shed.